Delaware State Courts
   home | feedback 
Delaware State Courts.  The Official Website of the Delaware Judiciary
Delaware State Courts

What is ADR?

ADR is an acronym for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

The Superior Court's ADR program uses three types or forms of dispute resolution—arbitration, mediation, and neutral assessment. Of the cases which are filed in the Superior Court, less than 5% are resolved by a trial before a judge or jury. Most cases are resolved through an alternative means of resolving the dispute, settlement or dismissal. When the attorneys and the parties reach a resolution or settlement on their own, this may involve conciliation or negotiation, two forms of achieving a mutually acceptable end to the lawsuit.

Forms of ADR in Superior Court

Arbitration—Arbitration is a process by which a neutral arbitrator hears both sides of a controversy and renders a fair decision based on the facts and the law. If the parties stipulate in writing the decision is be binding, in which instance the case is removed from the Court's docket.

Mediation—Mediation is a process by which a mediator facilitates the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of a controversy. It includes all contacts between the mediator and any party or parties until a resolution is agreed to, the parties discharge the mediator, or the mediator determines that the parties cannot agree.

Neutral Assessment—Neutral case assessment is a process by which an experienced neutral assessor gives a non-binding, reasoned oral or written evaluation of a controversy, on its merits, to the parties. The neutral assessor may use mediation and/or arbitration techniques to aid the parties in reaching a settlement.